When it comes to grilling, there are basically no rules – it all comes down to your preferences. Charcoal or gas grill? Lightly seasoned or full of flavour? Meat well done or not? But having said this, there are still some basic guidelines that every griller should follow to have a successful barbecue session.
Keep in mind these top 5 do’s and don’ts of grilling to have a smooth-sailing barbecue:
DO – Practice safety
Grilling can be hazardous if safety precautions are not practiced. To protect yourself from flare ups or fire, wear barbecue gloves and use long-handled tools such as brushes and tongs. Have a fire extinguisher ready at all times. More importantly, only grill at an open space, away from anything that could easily catch fire.
DON’T – Use a grill cover when cooking over hot coals
According to John Wiloughby and Chris Schlesinger, authors of Let the Flames Begin (a popular barbecue cookbook), one of the biggest mistakes that grillers make is covering the grill when cooking food directly over hot coals. When a meat’s fat starts to drip over coals, it turns to smoke which in turns gives your food a bitter smoke flavour. Instead, divide your grill into direct and indirect heat portions and move our food accordingly while cooking.
DO – Clean and oil your grates before each grilling session
Keeping your grill clean helps maintain the freshness and safety of the food. Oiling the grates before each session helps prevent the food from sticking and it also gives your food those appetizing grill marks.
DON’T – Kill fare ups by squirting it with water
One common grilling mistake is squirting water on flare-ups. This will not only affect the heat, but will also bring the coal’s ashes up onto your food. One important thing to remember is that flare ups are inevitable but they can be controlled. When a flare up happens, move your food to the grill’s cooler part until it subsides.
DO – Allow your food to “sit”
When you’re done cooking food, especially meat, on the grill, allow a few minutes for it to “sit” before cutting into it and serving. This allows for flavors to blend and for juices to be absorbed, resulting to a tastier dish.
Whether you’re a grilling beginner or not, these basic guideline of simple do’s and don’ts of grilling will help you have a safe, fun and hassle-free barbecue session!